Carols by Candlelight is the name of a Christmas concert put on by Steve Vaus. It is heavily promoted as a charity event that benefits Rady's Children's Hospital. Carols by Candlelight is not a nonprofit with a 503(c)(3) with an IRS tax number, that would allow donors to take a deduction for their donation. Nor is Carols by Candlelight (or Steve Vaus Production) registered in the State of California's database of charitable organizations or fundraising entities that comply with the State of California's registry and reporting requirements. Some years ago, when Steve Vaus sent emails to me and my friends, asking us to be angels and donate thousands of dollars to his Carols by Candlelight production, the implication was that those donations would be tax deductible. But they were not. And because they are not, I was unable to find out how much of my donation would end up being given to the charity and how much would end up in Steve Vaus' pocket.
The Carols by Candlelight concerts are held on 2 days in December in Escondido's Center for the Performing Arts. The concert hall has 1500 seats. Ticket prices for this year are $69-$87. You can also buy "hero tickets" for active duty military and first responders for $25 each. Ticket sales could potentially could bring in between $200,000- $250,000 gross.
Every year, Steve Vaust starts soliciting for donors for Carols by Candlelight. Donors can give $15,000 for Title Sponsorship (previously it was $25,000), $10,000 to underwrite band costs, $5,000 to underwrite travel expenses; 2,500 for hospitality plates; $1500 to underwrite stage decorations and $1,000 to underwrite raffle expenses. It is unknown how much money is donated by these Christmas angels. In addition, there is a raffle or auction, and items are likely donate. Currently, this years Carols by Candlelight already has 8 Sponsors and 3 Media Sponsors listed, although I do not know how much each one contributed. The total amount donated to Carols by Candlelight is not public information because Carols by Candlelight is not a nonprofit charity.
Nevertheless, Vaus is sure to look for any extra bucks he can get.
In 2012, Steve Vaus, who was then a candidate for Poway council, applied for a grant from California Municipal Finance Authority (CMFA). CMFA arranges bond financing for capital projects. They charge a fee for issuing the bonds, and a portion of the fees that they collect are returned to the communities they serve by giving out grants to other non-profits in the community. Steve Vaus applied for $5000 to buy tickets for veterans to attend Carols by Candlelight. Vaus could have given the tickets away for free, but he would rather get CMFA and others to pay for them.
On Nov 2, 2012 CMFA, sent a letter to Mona Durney, Executive Director of Carols by Candlelight, and enclosed a check. for $5000.
So who is RB United? This is from their webpage: